Friday pacesetter Andrea Dovizioso says that while his main rivals have improved the aerodynamics of their bikes, Ducati is still one step ahead of the rest.

The Italian was fastest in FP2 at the Red Bull Ring in Austria by 0.234s from Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales.

Dovizioso says in hindsight he would have raced without the Ducati’s new ‘downforce’ fairing at Brno but is happy to use it in Austria and reiterated that he believes it represents the way forward.

“In Brno, we understood very well the difference, but there is a big difference in many tracks and if I race again in Brno, I would race without the new fairing,” he said.

“But I believe here it is better; we didn’t compare but we didn’t want to lose time and we believe in that fairing after the experience in Brno, after the race of Jorge [Lorenzo] and after our test. So we decided to use it and we were focused to try to improve the bike. Today, in practice, it does improve and the timings were enough, so we decided to use it in this way.”

Dovizioso admits that the opposition has closed the gap in terms of developing their own aero fairings but he remains convinced Ducati still holds the upper hand.

“The winglets, it’s quite clear, we had the advantage last year and our winglets were quite… not better, but the work we created about downforce was bigger than our competitors and in this track, created a big difference last year,” he said.

“This year the rules changed and everybody worked on that and we are still today, I believe, more competitive than the other bikes, but like I say we have to wait to tomorrow because there is a chance to improve the situation of everybody and I believe the Yamaha will be very competitive.”

It seems the Yamaha riders may not use their new fairing in Spielberg and while Dovizioso did not want to become too vocal on the reasons behind the decision, he did give his thoughts on the matter.

“I can’t have the opposite answer about that because I believe it is a big word, aerodynamic, and I’m not the person to speak about that. It’s really technical and I don’t know exactly the effect of the new fairing of Yamaha,” he said.

“Maybe they have a big limit on the straight with the fairing, I don’t know, this is what to think, but from outside it is very difficult.”

Dovizioso, who is third in the championship standings, 21 points behind Marc Marquez, was satisfied with his lap times on the used soft tyre in the afternoon, although he did not have much time to complete many laps on the medium.

“Today we didn’t have a lot of time to compare and make a lot of laps bit in the afternoon we start with the used tyre from the morning and we did a good lap time with the soft, but we didn’t have time to make a lot of laps with the medium.

“The difference between the medium and soft rear is small but we will see tomorrow how many laps we can do.”


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